It is suggested that if our existence is predetermined, we go through life in a “reality tunnel.” This means we travel through the universe limited in what we can experience. We must hit the major milestones like career, marriage, illnesses, etc. but we are free to move about our tunnel.
Not every moment of time is hardwired into our experience, but our preferences may be programmed to ensure we choose appropriately.
Before you reject the notion outright, there are some scientists who believe this fits with the idea we are experiencing the universe as a computer simulation.
What Happens When You Live in a Simulated Reality?
If reality is a computer simulation, how does that work?
Our Universe as a Simulation
In 2003, Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed we may be existing in a virtual reality. One reason for this simulated universe may be a way our descendants could visit a past while eliminating the inherent paradoxes. In this scenario, you could kill your great grandfather and not destroy your own chance to be born.
Bostrom’s based his theory on one of three possible outcomes:
1) All civilizations in the universe go extinct before they develop the technology to create simulated realities;
2) if any civilizations reach technological maturity, none run simulations; or
3) advanced civilizations would have technological know-how to create multiple simulations, and that means there are many more simulated worlds than non-simulated ones.
Bostrom suggested that if civilizations developed advanced technology that could create such a virtual world, they would likely create multiple copies.
If our descendants managed this feat sometime in the future, Bostrom argued, then the odds were that you and I are one of many copies living in a simulation rather than the base reality. Statistically speaking, if there are 10,000 simulated universes where copies of you exist, the chances of your consciousness being the base original would be 1 in 10,000. In other words, if copies could exist elsewhere, then many copies were made, and the odds are you are not the original living in a base reality.
But is it Possible?
The question becomes whether you believe our technology could evolve sufficiently to create a virtual reality indistinguishable from what we think of as “the real world”?
The answer to this question might determine whether free will — or a limited version of it — exists in your reality.
It should be noted that other scientists reject this theory. If Bostrom is correct, this implies we are simply reliving a recreation of an earlier existence. Our lives, or at least the major milestones, are predetermined by the actions of our ancestors or the VR designer.
Our critical choices have been made, and our decisions only seem to be spontaneous and do not change those events we are destined to experience — unless we introduce some element of randomness or chaos. We may be living out a script and something else is pulling the strings — or at least pointing us in the direction they want us to go.
Even if we have some measure of control, our preferences may have been programmed to ensure that we make choices to eventually reach those milestones. We are programmed to guarantee we move along a set path.
How to Move Your Reality Tunnel
If Bostrom is correct, and we’re living out an ancestor’s script, or we’re NPCs in a computer game, can we change reality?
Maybe. It depends on how much, if any, of our life is predetermined and set in stone. Major milestones (marriages, births, careers, etc.) might be predetermined and the rest is subject to change. Most of that seems to be controlled by our preferences, so there is some leeway to change this. Even if our path is predetermined, it may be possible to loosen those controls for a short period of time or even change the script.
Sufficiently motivated, we may be able to alter major events as well. The secret is choosing new experiences and specifically those outside our comfort zone.
What would happen if we refused to do what we “know” we should do in order to short circuit the program? If these are predetermined major events in our life, what if we turned our backs on the opportunity and went off-script? Would this one act of defiance derail the simulation and permanently move us to an alternate timeline?
If our preferences are a control mechanism to keep us on a predetermined path, what would happen if we began choosing things we strongly disliked? While such actions may not directly influence our reality, there is no denying that it would open greater possibilities by expanding our experience of our universe.
Most of us make choices (or avoid action) completely unaware of our power. We move through reality on autopilot and unconsciously think that the world “out there” has total control. We ignore that we can choose to do something different. Even seemingly innocuous choices could alter our reality tunnel. Usually, we opt for the path of least resistance by seeking comfort and pleasure instead of fulfillment.
We insanely continue to try solutions that have already failed and make no effort to apply creativity to the problem.
Nothing happens without action. Since your reality is dictated by your consciousness, you decide what you are going to experience. Whether this is deliberate and planned is up to you. The key is to take new chances, act randomly, and introduce a bit of chaos.
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